German gov’t must do more despite “most ambitious renewables package ever” - NGO
Clean Energy Wire
The German government coalition's first year in office has brought much-needed progress in key energy transition areas but still falls short of fulfilling promises made in the coalition treaty between chancellor Olaf Scholz Social Democrats (SPD), the Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP), NGO Germanwatch has said. “Compared to its predecessor, the traffic light coalition does many things better in regards to renewable energy as well as national and international climate policy,” NGO head Christoph Bals said ahead of the coalition’s first anniversary on 8 December. However the traffic light coalition, named after the parties’ colours, “is far away from achieving what is scientifically necessary and has been promised in the coalition treaty,” he added. Especially in the transport sector, FDP minister Volker Wissing had so far refused to present any meaningful measures to bring the sector closer to reaching its emissions reduction targets, Bals said. Moreover, the government has not presented the binding climate action programme for 2030 promised a year ago, mostly due to reservations by the FDP, the NGO leader argued. But the onus to enforce more resolute climate energy efficiency measures in all sectors is on chancellor Scholz, who had campaigned on the platform of being a “climate chancellor.” On the plus side, the coalition’s “Easter Package” for renewable power expansion has made great strides in advancing the country’s decarbonisation efforts. “This is the most ambitious law package for accelerating the buildout of renewable power sources Germany has ever seen,” Bals said. At the same time, the coalition has encouraged a “fresh start” in international climate policy by intensifying cooperation with partner countries like India, Kenya and Indonesia that could help consolidate global efforts to curb the climate crisis “in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened without the new government,” he argued.
The traffic light coalition’s first year in office has been overshadowed by Russia’s war on Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis in Germany and Europe. While the war has changed the coalition’s plans in many areas and absorbed a lot of political resources into security and emergency measures, it is also considered to be a potential driver for decarbonisation and energy efficiency to make Germany’s energy system more secure and independent.